It happened today – this day in history – April 8

217AD: Roman Emperor Caracalla is assassinated.

1455: Alfonso de Borgia is elected Pope Callistus III.

1759: British troops chase the French out of Masulipatam, India.

1781: Premiere of Mozart’s violin sonata

1783: Catherine II of Russia annexes the Crimea.

1820: The Venus de Milo is discovered on the Aegean island of Milos.

1838: The steamship “Great Western” makes her maiden voyage from Bristol to New York.

1866: Italy and Prussia become allies against Austria-Hungary.

1879: Milk is sold in glass bottles for the first time.

1886: Gladstone introduces the first Irish Home Rule Bill into the House of Commons.

1898: Anglo-Egyptian forces crush 6,000 Sudanese at the Battle of Atbara River.

1904: Britain and France establish their Entente Cordiale, a technical treaty settling long-standing disagreements over Morocco, Egypt, Africa, and the Pacific.

1908: Herbert Asquith succeeds Henry Campbell-Bannerman as Prime Minister.

1935: Bartok’s 5th String quartet premieres in Washington D.C.

1940: German battle cruisers sink British aircraft carrier Glorious.

1941: Joe Louis TKOs Tony Musto in Round 9 for the heavyweight boxing title

1946: The League of Nations assembles for the last time.

1953: Jomo Kenyatta, chairman of the Kenya African Union, is sentenced to seven years hard labour accused of playing a leading role in the Mau Mau movement.

1955: Singles chart:

  1. Give Me Your Word – Tennessee Ernie Ford
  2. Softly Softly – Ruby Murray
  3. Cherry Pink And Apple Blossom White – Perez ‘Prez’ Prado and his Orchestra
  4. If Anyone Finds This I Love You – Ruby Murray with Anne Warren
  5. Mobile – Ray Burns
  6. Prize Of Gold – Joan Regan
  7. A Blossom Fell – Nat King Cole
  8. Under The Bridges Of Paris – Dean Martin
  9. (I’m Always Hearing) Wedding Bells – Eddie Fisher
  10. A Blossom Fell – Ronnie Hilton
1962: Elvis Presley – Blue Hawaii

1962: Album chart:

  1. Blue Hawaii – Elvis Presley
  2. The Young Ones – Cliff Richard
  3. Tops With Me – Helen Shapiro
  4. West Side Story – Original Soundtrack
  5. The Black & White Minstrel Show – The George Mitchell Minstrels
  6. South Pacific – Original Soundtrack
  7. The Shadows – The Shadows
  8. Wimoweh – Karl Denver
  9. Another Black & White Minstrel Show – The George Mitchell Minstrels
  10. The Roaring Twenties: Songs From The TV Series – Dorothy Provine

1964: The Supremes record Where Did Our Love Go at Motown studios in Detroit.


1967: Sandie Shaw becomes the first British woman to win the Eurovision Song Contest with the song Puppet On A String in Vienna. On the same day, John Buckingham aboard rank 100/1 outsider Foinavon avoids famous pile up at Beachers Brook to win the Grand National.

1973: Artist Pablo Picasso dies from a heart attack.

1977: Israeli premier Yitzhak Rabin resigns.

1983: Illusionist David Copperfield makes the Statue of Liberty disappear.

1985: India files suit against Union Carbide over the Bhopal disaster.

1986: Residents of the Californian town of Carmel overwhelmingly vote for actor Clint Eastwood as their mayor.

1988: Alan Shearer makes his starting debut for Southampton against Arsenal and at 17 years 240 days becomes the youngest player to score a hat-trick in the top flight.

1994: The body of Kurt Cobain is found at his home in Seattle by an electrician.

1995: British-born Nicholas Ingram is executed in the electric chair at Jackson State Prison, Atlanta, Georgia, for the 1983 murder of a man during a robbery. On the same day, Oliver McCall defeats Larry Holmes for the heavyweight boxing title.

1997: Veteran war reporter Martin Bell vows to defeat disgraced Conservative MP Neil Hamilton standing as an independent in the battle for the Tatton constituency. On the same day, singer-songwriter Laura Nyro dies from ovarian cancer.

1998: Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood is rescued, along with 11 other passengers from a boat which caught fire while exploring islands south of Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.

2000: Papillon, ridden by jockey Ruby Walsh and trained by his father Ted Walsh wins the Grand National.

2001: Tiger Woods wins his second US Masters title.

2006: The bodies of eight men, all shot to death, are found in a field in Ontario, Canada. The murders are soon linked to the Bandidos motorcycle gang.

2008: Babyshambles frontman Pete Doherty is jailed for 14 weeks for violating his probation.

2010: Malcolm McLaren, former manager of the Sex Pistols, dies from cancer aged 64.

2013: Death of former prime minister Margaret Thatcher aged 87.

2017: Death of disc jockey Brian Matthew aged 88.

2019: Actress Allison Mack pleads guilty to sex-trafficking charges for her involvement in suspected sex cult Nxivm.

2020: Bernie Sanders drops out of the Democratic race for US president.

BIRTHDAYS: Dame Vivienne Westwood, fashion designer, 81; Roger Chapman, singer (Family) 80; Steve Howe, guitarist (Yes) 75; Joe Royle, footballer/manager, 73; Izzy Stradlin, guitarist/songwriter (Guns n Roses) 60; Donita Sparks, singer/guitarist (L7) 59; Julian Lennon, singer-songwriter, 59; Robin Wright, actress, 56; Patricia Arquette, actress, 54; Katee Sackhoff, actress, 42; Taylor Kitsch, actor, 41; Ezra Koenig, singer/guitarist (Vampire Weekend), 38; Matthew Healy, vocalist (The 1975) 33; Isaac Hempstead-Wright, actor, 23.